|Wild Ass Sanctuary
About Wild Ass Sanctuary
The entire Little Rann of Kutch known as the "Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary" is a featureless expanse of flat land - the sea bed - dotted with islands known as "Baits" which form the core for the flora and fauna. This is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India.
In India the Indian wild ass represents the horse tribe. In the Little Rann of Kutch, the asses are attracted by the flat grass covered expanses known as bets or islands where coarse grasses spring up In monsoon.
With the advent of summer, the asses move to oilier bets in which there is perennial supply of water and grass.
As for speed and stamina, there is no one in the animal kingdom to match the wild ass as they are capable of marathon runs at a pace of about 24 km/h for as long as two hours, reaching a top speed of 70 km/h over short distances. The wild ass is a strong animal and a stallion will fight viciously for the possession of the mare in the mating season. The combatants rear up on their hindlegs, and kick and bite viciously. After mating one fowl is born between July and September.
Besides the wild ass, the wildlife consists of rare and endangered Ghudkhur (Equs hemionus khur) not found anywhere else in the world. Others, such as the Blue-Bull, Chinkara, Hedgehog and carnivores such as the Wolf, Jackal, Fox, Jungle and Desert Cats can also be found here in large numbers. A variety of birds - almost three hundred species, can be seen in and around the Rann during winter. Cranes and Flamingos can be seen in thousands. Rare birds such as the Houbara Bustard, Falcons, a large number and species of larks and other arid region birds can be seen. Reptiles such as snakes, tortoises, lizards, are also found. Watch towers, a tourist complex and other tourist related facilities are in place to enhance wildlife viewing in this unique habitat.
Travelling on the vast Rann in an open jeep is a refreshing and exciting experience. The sunrise and sunset are breathtaking, displaying exotic hues. Viewing wildlife is an exciting and thrilling adventure. It is more satisfying to observe animal behaviour than mere sighting. A minimum of three/four day's stay is recommended. There are morning and evening excursions in Jeeps/Mini coaches that seat a comfortable number of persons and are conducted at a leisurely pace.
The safaris, besides wildlife also include visits to ancient monuments and inland salt works and other places of interest. Explanations and anecdotes, during the whole safari will keep one, enthralled.
Excursions and other Activities
Excursions for viewing a typical Saurashtra village, handloom weaving and dyeing units and the village potter are available.
For people interested in birds and photography; special rides and camouflaged boats can be provided.
Trekking and living with seasonally migrating Rabari and Bharwad tribes. Camps on the edge of the Rann are operated between July and September each year.
Camel and Jeep safaris in and across the Rann with tented camps on the Baits, lasting three to seven days can be arranged.